Tag Archives: fire

West Virginia Church Rises from the Ashes—Literally

Dedication service crowd fills the new sanctuary!

By Carl Stagner

It was nearing the middle of the night on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Instead of sleeping, several of the saints of Green Valley Church of God, in St. Albans, West Virginia, were wide awake. They’d gathered in the parking lot, gazing in horror as smoke and flame engulfed the place where they’d accepted Christ, got baptized, grew in their faith, and/or made lifelong friends. Thoughts raced through their minds: What’s next? How will this affect the ministry here? What in the world does God have in mind? In the trauma of the moment, God’s sovereign hand was hard to detect. But out of the bad, God was working for the good, ushering in a new beginning for Green Valley Church of God. Continue reading

Disaster Relief Urgent Request

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10 NIV

In light of what has been classified as truly extraordinary need, the Church of God Disaster Relief Committee is highlighting an urgent request. The current scope of devastation from natural disasters around the world is beyond our scale of imagining. The Disaster Relief Committee is working with national leaders and regional pastors in the affected regions to meet needs. Would you help? Donate now to Disaster Relief. Continue reading

Miracles in Homeland: California Church Rises from the Ashes

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Photo: Fire engulfs Community First Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

A raging inferno blazed all around it, but it did not burn. The roof collapsed above it, but it didn’t budge. Thousands of gallons of water poured onto it, but it remained in place. The seven-foot wooden cross in the sanctuary of Community First Church of God in Homeland, California, which stood tall in the midst of piles of charred rubble, has since become a visible reminder of God’s faithfulness. Over the next few months, the church’s nightmare would set into motion a series of developments leading to a stronger, healthier congregation and community. Several hours earlier, however, Pastor Mike Gratzke found himself staring in disbelief at the sickening orange glow that illuminated the night sky. Continue reading

Rebuilding Underway After Aldersgate Fire, Your Help Crucial

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Photo: Charred foot lockers, textbooks, and personal belongings.

By Carl Stagner

On August 29, 2016, disaster hit too close to home for the Church of God in Tanzania. A fire broke out in the high school boys’ dorm at Aldersgate Education Center at about 8:20 in the evening. Though none of the ninety boys were physically injured by the blaze, most of their belongings were destroyed and some had to be treated for emotional injury. Aldersgate, a school for nusery-age through high school students in Babati, Tanzania, provides education for Church of God laity and prepares leaders to strengthen the church of tomorrow. That’s why it’s so critical to ensure the continuing ministry of Aldersgate. Rebuilding has begun, but because of a lack of adequate emergency funds, the school desperately needs your help. Continue reading

Wildfires out West: ‘God Was Watching Over Us’

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By Carl Stagner

Wildfires have scorched more than 600,000 acres in Washington State alone this year. Massive infernos rage on in seventeen states, mostly out West, including the particularly hard-hit states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California. Fueled by prolonged drought, these fires have forced the evacuations of thousands, destroyed hundreds of homes, and claimed the lives of three firefighters. For the first time in the state’s history, Washington has had to ask for the help of volunteers as they battle blazes beyond their control. Local churches have stepped up to help by offering space for evacuees, collecting supplies for firefighters, and rallying believers to unite in prayer. Many have witnessed firsthand the power and destructive force of these fires, as well as the opportunities for being the hands and feet of Christ. Continue reading

A Fire in Dhaka: The Church of God Responds

Missionaries’ Home Severely Damaged by Fire in Malawi, Africa

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Imagine losing almost everything you own in a single afternoon. For Tammie Tregellas, missionary to Malawi, Africa, that became a reality recently. On Sunday, December 9, a fire broke out in Tammie’s home in Africa. She is presently on home assignment in the United States, and fellow missionaries, Tim and Josie Vickey, are ministering in Malawi in her absence. Continue reading